Broadcom may offer more than $100 billion for Qualcomm

People crowd into the Qualcomm booth to view a series of new products during the annual Consumer Electronics Show

With its profits plummeted more than 90 percent in the latest earnings call, Qualcomm could be fighting a losing legal battle with Apple, giving Broadcom the ideal opportunity to acquire the chipmaker in what could be the largest chip business acquisition ever.

Broadcom Ltd.is exploring a bid for San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc. according to news reports.

Share value in Qualcomm is up almost 14 percent on the news.

Fresh off its plan to move to the United States, the semiconductor firm is weighing a $100 bln bid for rival Qualcomm, Bloomberg reported.

Qualcomm, an early pioneer in mobile phone chips, supplies so-called modem chips to phone makers such as Apple, Samsung and LG that help the phones connect to wireless data networks. A complex series of countersuits has ensued, ensnaring both companies in a messy and likely to be protracted legal showdown over arcane patent licensing and component contract deals.

Qualcomm is not aware of the details of Broadcom's bid, and it is far from certain whether it will entertain this deal, the sources said.

The reports came one day after Tan held a news conference with President Trump to announce that Broadcom, now based in Singapore with a primary USA office in San Jose, plans to move its corporate domicile to the United States. Broadcom recently announced it would move its corporate headquarters from Singapore back to the U.S., in a move championed by President Donald Trump. Well, Qualcomm happens to be in the middle of an ongoing existential crisis perpetuated by a legal showdown with Apple, which has always been a Qualcomm buyer for wireless modems that enable the iPhone to communicate with telecom networks.

A Qualcomm representative declined comment. A legal battle with Apple is costing revenue and jeopardizing a business model that for years made Qualcomm one of the most successful chipmakers. Qualcomm paid $891 million to settle the case in 2009.

We'll be paying close attention in the next few days for a potential announcement, so stay tuned for additional updates.

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